Monday, July 21, 2014

The Goblin Emperor

By Katherine Addison

Maia is the son of the emperor. But he is the youngest son, unwanted and exiled, with three older half-brothers. He never expected he would ever become emperor and neither did anyone else. He certainly was not raised to be emperor or prepared to be emperor. But the unthinkable happened. His father and his three brothers were all killed when their airship crashed. Suddenly young Maia is now the emperor and he doesn't have a clue as to how to behave or what to do. Friendless and alone, he has to cope with his weighty responsibilities and with all the double-dealing and intrigue that goes along with the imperial court. And the fact that Maia is half goblin doesn't endear him to his nobles who are all elves. Things go from bad to worse when it is revealed that the crash that killed the imperials was caused by an explosive device. And the killer or killers are aiming to take down the new emperor too.
Maia is a sweet kid forced to deal with a strange and often hostile new environment. His lack of self-confidence and his doubt of his own abilities are further strikes against him. Surrounded by plots and hateful relatives, Maia is mostly on his own. Drowning in luxury, waited on hand and foot, servants everywhere, Maia is the loneliest guy in the world. Alone, he has to figure out how to rule, who murdered his family and why. Plus try to stay alive.

This was a good story. Maia is unspoiled and untainted by the harsh treatment he received after his mother died and he was sent into exile with a man who hated and abused him. Foundering in a demanding and often cruel new environment, Maia still manages not to lose himself or give into his baser instincts. I really enjoyed this book, but I did find it hard to keep track of all the characters and their strange and difficult names and titles, despite the guide in the back of the book.
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